About podcasts and vidcasts

iTunes podcasts screenshot

It’s almost something usual and it’s actually considered normal that after something (read: a trend) becomes outdated and boring elsewhere (read: mostly over the ocean) it catches on and gets overhyped in our beloved little country as something new and cool… And this is even more true when we’re talking about technology.

Now look at all the praise Romanian blogs have been receiving lately: numerous press mentions and quotings (even by journalists who had nearly 0 knowledge of the subject they’re writing about), blogger conferences, blogging awards, blogs about blogging… Oh, and did I mention that everybody in Romania is starting a blog nowadays? Just about the same thing happened in the USA. In 2002. And of course, they moved on. The current hyped term abroad is ‘podcast’. Now when this will arrive in Romania I don’t know and I don’t really care because it’s enough for me to think about the whole progressive house music trend which was a one summer thing in the UK but after it hit Romania it stayed for… Well, progressive is still widely played and considered cool in our clubs. Although it’s being slowly pushed out by this ‘new’ thing: minimal. At least in Bucharest. Or so I hear. Anyway, I wonder how long will this last? Haha… Can I please cry now?

So, of course, being the cutting edge early adopter boy that I consider myself I jumped on podcasts as soon as I first read about them. But it was hard to keep up as the podcast clients I tried back then (half a year ago?) had a few problems as they were unwantedly overwriting already downloaded files, downloading the .torrent files instead of the actual MP3 and last but not least I was forgetting to fire them up to get the latest episodes. Steve Jobs had to come around and launch that new version of iTunes, I think it was 5.5, to put things in shape. And with iTunes I caught on. After all I was running iTunes anyway to listen to music, and all the podcasting thing became a click - click thing: browse for podcasts inside of iTunes, click a button to subscribe and… Well, listen to them after they got automatically downloaded to your ‘puter.

Actually I was syncing them to my iPod afterwards and listening while going over to my girlfriend’s place to sleep. I had a few weird moments on the street because unlike in music you can find laughing matter while listening to podcasts. I was subscribed to Diggnation, TWiT (This Week In Tech), The Chris Pirillo Show, The Engadget Podcast and later to The Web 2.0 Show. Diggnation was and still is my favourite because of the interesting stories they’re covering and obviously because the guys are very funny, TWiT is interesting and high quality and it was actually the first podcast I started listening regularly and the Web 2.0 Show is relevant for me because I’m involved in this whole web development thingie and the interviews they were featuring were giving very interesting insights. After listening to a few episodes I unsubscribed from the Engadget podcast because I found it rather boring and I also unsubscribed from Pirillo’s show because I wasn’t able to keep up with the amount of material he was releasing but I can’t forget how this amount of actually very interesting and relevant audio material that was sitting on my iPod once saved me from boredom death on the train to Cluj. However I was never interested in “social” podcasts such as The Dawn and Drew Show. Don’t really know why…

Oh yeah, and a few times after listening to Diggnation I arrived to Ioana place holding two beers in my hand. Just listen to the show and you’ll find out why. Also the funny thing was that I actually started browsing and using digg quite a few months after I started listening to the show. And it became an addiction at one moment, digg being the site I closed last before going to sleep and opened the first in the morning. New stories, interesting stories, geek stories!

But then all this listening and fun stopped when my iPod’s earbuds broke. And after a short while Ioana moved in and so there was no need for nightwalks anymore. So what did János do? He started downloading the videos. Because, of course, many of these shows come in video version too. I don’t really understand how their servers hold up but hey! I’m the user this time and I don’t care about their servers as long as I can download the show. Hehe. And it was rather funny because after I started getting the shows’ video version I first saw how the guys looked. And when you listen to hours and hours of somebody’s voice and then you actually see the person’s face it’s quite a shock. Because he or she will definetly not look as you imagined. I’m talking about Alex Albrecht mostly, haha.

And now with the whole increased RDS bandwidth thing I can actually watch the videos live online! And there came another show which I started watching regularly: DigitalLifeTV is an almost weekly vidcast covering all the interesting technology and gaming and whatnot news. Also worth mentioning are the GameSpot video reviews and features which I’m a fan of, and which were there for quite a while now, only my bandwidth couldn’t match up to my wish of watching them live… Until now, that is.

So that’s my little wrap up of podcasts and vidcasts. I would really enjoy a few comments.

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